By Kelly Coleman for KnowMore.tv's GalTime
America's favorite pastime has always been watching TV, but who knew that it could actually benefit your relationship? If you and your partner watch the right kind of shows together, it can inspire conversations, provide a quality bonding experience and even spice up your sex life, according to experts.
The Best Genres To Watch With Your Partner
Different genres of television can provide for a variety of needs. Humorous sitcoms, for instance, are great for sharing a laugh. "Laughing sends endorphins to our brains and makes us feel good," says dating coach Leonardo Bustos, or the "Companionator." fBustos explains that when humans share endorphin-rich activities or moments, it creates a bonding experience. "I find that Modern Family and Seinfeld are lighthearted and can be counted on to make the humdrum of everyday events hilarious--a vital technique to a happy life."
"More plot-driven dramas (e.g. Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, etc.) can allow you and your partner to venture on a virtual journey together and give you a nightly or weekly topic of conversation. You can chat about who your favorite character is, what you predict will happen next and discuss whether so-and-so did the right thing.
These types of exchanges can turn into 'big picture' conversations. In this vein, any show could be a jumping point from which you can start a great debate or an opportunity to discuss values (e.g. do you think certain reality TV characters' behavior is hilarious or contemptible? Why?).
It's important for couples to diversify their TV-watching, says Silvia Dutchevici, Founder and President of the Critical Therapy Center in New York City. She suggests including documentaries and the news in your TV-together-time. These outlets help "expose each other to the way they see and understand the world," Dutchevici says.
Watching TV Together Can Inspire Intimacy
No matter what you're watching, the physical act of viewing TV is the perfect opportunity to squeeze in some cuddle time. If you combine the feeling of enjoyment you get from watching TV with the comfort of snuggling with your partner, you'll create a positive association between the two activities. Rather than using TV as a time-filler, you should see it as a special activity for the two of you to share.
TV can also provide some inspiration for your sex life. Watching actors steam up the screen can help get you in the mood, give you ideas for some new moves, or even live out sexual fantasies by reenacting your favorite scenes line by line. Some safe bets are Game of Thrones or True Blood --any of those hot and heavy HBO series -- if you can get past all of the blood and gore.
Watching TV Can Help Open The Lines Of Communication
Making decisions about TV-watching habits may sound trivial, but in reality, the negotiation skills that go into TV choices and schedules can be indicative of you and your partners' general negotiating skills, according to Dutchevici. "Much like the way a couple negotiates who washes the dishes, when laundry is done, etc., the way a couple decides to watch TV is a reflection of how they negotiate other (bigger) things in the relationship," she explains. "Healthy relationships have open communication and negotiation."
If so much of you and your partner's lives are going to be devoted to watching TV, ensure that this big chunk of time is healthy for your relationship.
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